According to Buckeye Beat, Shad O’Shea was instrumental in fashioning a local hit out of “The Only Thing to Do” by Cincinnati’s own The “Us Too” Group:
“Somehow the record got the attention of Counterpart Records Shad O’Shea (a.k.a. Howard Lovdal) who took an interest in ‘The Only Thing To Do.’ Shad decided to release an edited version of the song, backed with a different flip side called ‘The Way it Must Be,’ an excellent slow number which was recorded at the same time as the two sides of the [earlier] Jinx 45. Although it’s not clear why Shad made the change, the guess would be that he wanted a fast and slow side to make clear which one to push.
The effectively edited ‘Only Thing To Do’ was released in February of ’67 and hit immediately on Cincinnati’s #1 station WSAI. The record went to top 10 on WSAI and WUBE, the #2 station in town. The record even earned a spin on Stan Matlock’s WKRC ‘easy listening’ drive time program, which happened to catch the ear of Len [Gartner]’s thrilled father – apparently Matlock had no idea he was spinnin’ a platter by a local teen rock band.”
“The Only Thing to Do” The ‘Us Too’ Group 1967
Text that accompanies the above YouTube audio clip:
“This record comes out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Us Too Group was comprised of members Joe Madrigal, Glen Davis, Bob Dickens, Tom Whisner and Len Gartner. This record was cut at King records studios in late 1966 and the group had 100 copies pressed up on the Jinx record label. By early 1967 the record had come to the attention of Counterpart records owner Shad O’Shea who edited this song from the longer version cut for Jinx and issued it with a new B side that was cut at the same sessions that yielded the A side. The record became an immediate local hit, making the top 10 on some of the top Cincinnati radio stations, WUBE and WSAI. They had one more record issued as Us Too on [Willie Mitchell’s] Hi record label plus another issued as Maelstrom and broke up after one final Us Too 45 on Counterpart in 1968, after numerous changes in group members. The various members of the group continued performing with other musicians through the years. This is one of my all time favorite 45’s and I hope you dig it!”
Buckeye Beat also reports that Hi Records purchased Us Too’s follow-up 45 “I’ll Leave You Crying” on the spot when it was played over the phone line by WSAI DJ, Tom Dooley. Someone would pay $73 in 2009 for Us Too’s lone 45 on the Hi label.
Wake the nation! This is story #9 in Zero to 180’s Counterpart Records History Series